U.S. stocks would seem to be expensive. Markets are at historic highs. Investors are currently paying more than 21 times what companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 have earned over the past 12 months, according to operating earnings from S&P Dow Jones Indices. Investors are paying well above the 18.8 average multiple they’ve paid for stocks since 1988, S&P data shows.

Don’t take this as a signal to sell, though, says Darrell Spence, an economist at Capital Group. Reading too much into this one data point could cause long-term investors to miss out on future gains. “It could be possible for the S&P 500 to post an increase in 2017, despite the full starting valuation,” he says.

Here are four reasons why long-term investors should look beyond the price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio:

1.The P/E ratio isn’t always a predictor of future stock movements.

Just because the market’s P/E ratio is high doesn’t mean stocks must fall. Several bull markets had plenty of life left even when the P/E ratio topped 20. You don’t have to go back far to find an example. The S&P 500’s P/E ratio has been above 20 since the end of the fourth quarter of 2015. But since then, stocks have added more than 10% as investors priced in better corporate profit growth. Even in the third quarter of 1992, the market might have seemed richly priced with a P/E of 21. But that was just the beginning of a major bull run that propelled stocks 157% higher, including dividends, in the following five years.

2. P/E ratios must be put into context.

When interest rates are low and the economy is healthy, investors can justify paying higher valuations for stocks, according to Spence. Companies’ future earnings are more valuable when rates are low. There’s little evidence rates are about to move higher soon, given the aggressive moves the U.S. central bank undertook to buy Treasuries, he says.

3. Companies can “grow into” valuations.

Market prices are only one part of the math that determines stock valuations. Corporate profits are the other. If earnings growth resumes, as Spence expects it will in 2017, stocks can justify their current valuations and then some. S&P 500 companies could boost their operating earnings per share this year by 13%, he forecasts. At current prices, if earnings grew 13% in 2017, stocks would be trading at 18.6 times trailing earnings.

4. Economic tailwinds can make stocks more valuable.

Higher valuations can be justified by a number of factors. Economic activity in the U.S., for instance, is improving. Risks of economic distress are low and the new presidential administration is promising stimulative fiscal spending on infrastructure projects, not to mention tax cuts.

But perhaps most importantly, the Federal Reserve has been slow to increase interest rates while other central banks around the world are still working to keep their interest rates low to stoke economies. Low bond rates translate into higher P/E ratios when the economy is healthy, Spence says.

There are risks. A sharp rise in interest rates could change the math and make stocks suddenly look more expensive. A change in direction by the world’s central banks to take away the monetary stimulus could also make stocks more pricey. A strong U.S. dollar could also hurt U.S. companies’ exports.

So despite valuations that would appear stretched, there’s still opportunity in the market. Investors might have to just mute their expectations. What’s reasonable? Add the economy’s hypothetical growth of 2.5% to the expected inflation rate of 2.5% and the S&P 500’s dividend yield of 2%, and that could correspond to a 7% expected total return for U.S. stocks.

“Is the P/E ratio a perfect indicator of the future? The answer is no,” Spence says. “But higher valuations still appear sustainable.”

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Good news: Warm temperatures, backyard barbecues and trips to the beach are probably all in your near future.

Bad news: All those wonderful things mean you’ll be exposing yourself to the sun – and, maybe, raising your risk of skin cancer . May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, and today, the first Monday in May, is Melanoma Monday. That means it’s a good time to make sure you’re taking steps to protect yourself from all kinds of skin cancer, including melanoma, which kills an estimated one person every hour in the United States.

It’s key to use sunscreen year-round to guard yourself from the sun’s harmful UV rays, says Katy Burris, MD, assistant professor of dermatology at Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine -- but it’s especially important when you’re spending more time outside and wearing less clothing. Unfortunately, she says, many people don’t get the full benefit of their sunscreen , thanks to some common mistakes. Here’s what Burris sees many of her patients doing wrong, and how to make it right.

The wrong way: You put it on and forget it.

To make it right: Reapply…and then do it again.

“The number-one mistake people make is that they think sunscreens are a one-and-done sort of thing,” says Burris. But sunscreen loses its potency quicker than you think. If you’re spending the day outdoors, reapply sunscreen to exposed skin every two hours. If you’re swimming or sweating, make that every hour.

The wrong way: You ration out your sunscreen.

To make it right: Don’t be stingy.

Think you can make a bottle of sunscreen last through an entire week at the beach? Bad idea. “The average bottle of sunscreen should only last two to three days for a single person when applied correctly,” says Burris. The rule of thumb when you’re using a sunscreen lotion: To cover your whole body, use at least enough to fill a shot glass.

The wrong way: You’re using a product you don’t like.

To make it right: Find one you won’t skip.

Sunscreen comes in lots of forms -- spray, lotion, stick. Any kind will do the job so long as you use enough, Burris says. “Some people under-apply because their sunscreen feels or looks greasy. It’s important to find one you like.” (You can find non-greasy formulas specifically for your face, for example.) Whatever form you choose, make sure your pick is labeled “broad-spectrum” and has an SPF of at least 30.

The wrong way: You wait until you’re in the sun to put your sunscreen on.

To make it right: Slap it on early.

Don’t wait until you’re lying on your beach towel to put on your sunscreen; it takes time for your skin to absorb its protective ingredients so they can go to work. Apply sunscreen at least 20 minutes before you’re exposed to the sun.

The wrong way: You think your dark skin will keep you safe.

To make it right: Always protect yourself.

Having naturally dark skin – or a tan -- doesn’t reduce your risk of developing skin damage from UV rays. Have you skipped sunscreen before without ending up burned? Even if your skin didn’t turn red, it may have suffered damage on a cellular level, raising your long-term risk of skin cancer. No matter what your complexion, it’s best to play it safe. Use sunscreen daily, check your skin regularly for physical changes and get an annual exam from your dermatologist.



You’re sitting at home minding your own business when you get a call from your credit card’s fraud detection unit asking if you’ve just made a purchase at a department store in your city. It wasn’t you who bought expensive electronics using your credit card – in fact, it’s been in your pocket all afternoon. So how did the bank know to flag this single purchase as most likely fraudulent?

Credit card companies have a vested interest in identifying financial transactions that are illegitimate and criminal in nature. The stakes are high. According to the Federal Reserve Payments Study, Americans used credit cards to pay for 26.2 billion purchases in 2012. The estimated loss due to unauthorized transactions that year was US$6.1 billion. The federal Fair Credit Billing Act limits the maximum liability of a credit card owner to $50 for unauthorized transactions, leaving credit card companies on the hook for the balance. Obviously fraudulent payments can have a big effect on the companies’ bottom lines. The industry requires any vendors that process credit cards to go through security audits every year. But that doesn’t stop all fraud.

In the banking industry, measuring risk is critical. The overall goal is to figure out what’s fraudulent and what’s not as quickly as possible, before too much financial damage has been done. So how does it all work? And who’s winning in the arms race between the thieves and the financial institutions?

Gathering the troops

From the consumer perspective, fraud detection can seem magical. The process appears instantaneous, with no human beings in sight. This apparently seamless and instant action involves a number of sophisticated technologies in areas ranging from finance and economics to law to information sciences.

Of course, there are some relatively straightforward and simple detection mechanisms that don’t require advanced reasoning. For example, one good indicator of fraud can be an inability to provide the correct zip code affiliated with a credit card when it’s used at an unusual location. But fraudsters are adept at bypassing this kind of routine check – after all, finding out a victim’s zip code could be as simple as doing a Google search.

Traditionally, detecting fraud relied on data analysis techniques that required significant human involvement. An algorithm would flag suspicious cases to be closely reviewed ultimately by human investigators who may even have called the affected cardholders to ask if they’d actually made the charges. Nowadays the companies are dealing with a constant deluge of so many transactions that they need to rely on big data analytics for help. Emerging technologies such as machine learning and cloud computing are stepping up the detection game.



Finding your favorite casino games online is easy to do considering the loads of options to choose from. However, in order to make the most of your gambling experience online, it is ideal that you find a casino that offers you the safest, most reliable payment options. Security is an important consideration when trying to choosing an online casino. To make it easier on you, we’ve compiled a listing of the top payment options available through online casinos today. Look out for these options as they ensure your security comes first and that you have the best online gambling experience.

Credit Card

Credit is probably the most widely used form of payment across all online casinos. The great thing about credit card payment options is that you’ll find them at all casinos, so you’ll be able to play at any casino if this is your preferred method. Unfortunately, credit cards aren’t always the most secure option, as fraudulent behavior is often a cause for concern. Of all credit card options, we recommend Visa as it is accepted worldwide and is the safest of the bunch.


Conveniency is at the core of PayPal’s business model, allowing for easy money transfer online. PayPal was founded in 1998 with the intention of making online shopping easier and hassle-free. Users of PayPal are now able to consolidate their multiple banking accounts under one convenient roof, so that they can transfer money or make payments through multiple accounts. For online casino members, the availability of PayPal makes their experience all that much more convenient. It’s much easier to play and gamble when you don’t have to worry about constantly having to rely on one single account. Additionally, PayPal is extremely secure and employs the strictest technology to prevent fraud and other suspicious behavior. Thus, it is no wonder that casino sites that accept paypal, listed on paypal-casinos.co, are a favorite among online casino goers. If we had to go with one option, PayPal would be our pick.


Known as the leader in the e-wallet industry, Neteller is a highly reputable and widely used form of payment. Neteller makes it easy to transfer funds for services and is used as a virtual wallet for those who prefer veering away from banks. Knowing that you won’t have to plug in your account number in order to make a payment is a source of comfort for many, and Neteller allows for that. It is a convenient payment option that has become widely recognized within the online casino industry. It is relatively easy to come across, especially within the Canadian casino space online.

Visa Electron

Debit is also a common form of payment available on many online casinos worldwide. Visa Electron is the most reputable of the lot, ensuring security for all those using it. The card is easy to use and it serves as a sister card to the Visa debit card. The only difference between the two is that Visa Electron prevents the player from overdrawing, so they must be sure to have enough funds available when using their card. Most online casinos offer Visa Electron as a payment method. We highly recommend Visa Electron if you like to use your debit card and are looking for a secure form of debit.

These payment options are the most reliable options when making payments through online casinos. It is important to choose an option that is most convenient for you and keeps your security a priority. Always choose a trusted option so that you can make the most of your online casino experience.



CRIB Match is the platform to find your perfect co-founder(s) to team up for success

A key component of our matchmaking program is to help identify your entrepreneurial strengths, before pairing you up with potential ideas and partners at CRIB Match events.

CRIB believes that successful business teams comprise three main entrepreneur types, which can be profiled through our proprietary ABC entrepreneur assessment tool:


Angels (As) are resourceful investors with the right finances and networks to make a difference in new ventures and opportunities.


Business Managers (Bs) are enablers who make things happen with strong management, organization and execution skills.


Creatives (Cs) have ideas waiting to be translated into reality and enjoy finding creative solutions to challenges.

All CRIB members are welcome to submit their business plan proposals which are assessed by the CRIB Evaluation Team for individual and business feedback.

Promising ideas are given the opportunity to be pitched at CRIB Match Mixers, where participants can find potential partners, speed dating style.

The strongest, most viable and scalable submissions will proceed to CRIB Pitch Perfect, where they will be paired with a curated team of mentors and potential co-founders, and invited to pitch to a selected group of CRIB Angels.



Loss of pre-trial detention hampers cooperation by fraudsters

Prisons and jails across the U.S. are overcrowded, costly and at a breaking point in many states. Jurisdictions are working to ease the pressure in a variety of ways. California, for example, has released more than 30,000 inmates early in the last five years. Other states use alternative sentencing.

New Jersey is taking a different approach. It has done away with pre-trial detention except for the most-violent crimes or people who are flight risks.

Fraud prosecutors in the Garden State say the new law makes their jobs tougher. A runner employed by a staged-crash ring who gets caught no longer has to worry about making bail. The threat of pre-trial detention often spurs a runner to cooperate with law enforcement and help nail the gang’s masterminds. But no longer.

Now, runners are processed and given a summons, kind of like getting a traffic ticket.

The concern here is that the lack of pre-trial detention throws up one more roadblock for many local prosecutors who already are overworked and hesitant to take complex, time-consuming fraud cases.

There are no easy answers. It’s unlikely lawmakers will make an exception to the law for non-violent, white-collar crimes.

Deterring fraud rings is difficult, though achievable. The anti-fraud advertising campaign by the Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor and state AG is excellent, though it’s oriented towards everyday consumers, not organized criminals. Perhaps outreach to lower-level gang members about the dangers of committing fraud might help deter.

The best approach might be for insurers to focus even more on taking the profit out of insurance crime. Greater use of technology will detect scams earlier before claims money goes out the door. More civil suits with treble damages against crooked medical providers and other ringleaders will hurt them where it counts.

Fraud fighters around the U.S. will have to rely less on arrests and prosecutions. They still can curb insurance fraud by improvising and relying more on their creative expertise.



Useful for egging on scams, teaching about dumb choices

Fraud braggadocio is alive and kicking on the Twittersphere, as we recently reported in FraudBlog. Now for another frontline dispatch …

Easy money … fun … risk-free. Like a video game — only for stealing real insurance dollars. That’s a frequent voice vote by consumers in our daily Twitter and Facebook convos.

A Tweeter riled up folks about slipping and falling his way to illicit payoffs in a recent thread using the hash tag #bouttoslip. He said:

“I prayed and asked God to increase my finances and BEHOLD I found a wet floor with no sign in sight. #bouttoslip

Others used the same #bouttoslip hash tag and chimed in:

“A wet floor with no sign at work? I prayed for this come up #bouttoslip

“God is good. I asked the Lord to finance my college and I see this unsalted and not shoveled pavement. #bouttoslip

We don’t know if these people made illegal claims. Yet mere braggadocio might click on a crime lightbulb and convince other Twitter followers to try an insurance scam. The thread above was retweeted 17,000 times. Fraud looks like so much fun. Why wouldn’t others wet their lips and try a seemingly easy grab for insurance payouts?

Until the real world steps in. Make dumb choices, make time for a permanent criminal record. That’s a big deterrent message we share on Twitter.

Doses of dumbness showed up in our recent live Twitter chat. Workers-comp investigators advised how to thwart fake injury claims.

The nub — bilk your employer at your peril. Surveillance videos posted and retweeted during the live chat drove home the point. Like the rocker who did a Beatles tribute concert while “injured.” ... Or the guy who said he couldn’t turn his head yet had a sweet swing on the golf course.

A worker stomped a hole in the floor and claimed he fell in it.

Twitter is a great forum for bragging and egging people to try an insurance scam. It’s an equally useful way to show people that dumb choices can earn a permanent price. Is a criminal conviction really worth it?



​Entrepreneurs and people involved in the government worldwide need to develop advanced relief and emergency response solutions due to the abrupt increase in natural calamities and disasters in the past few years.

Many private organizations also want to protect lives and as much as possible reduce the damages on properties. They’re also encouraging the public to be ready at all times in case of such events. They usually provide instructions on how to properly address immediate risks.

It is not only the responsibility of the government authorities to keep the safety of the public, but everyone else is entitled to their own safety as well as the safety of other people, especially their loved ones.

In order to manage risks brought by natural or human-induced disasters nowadays, many organizations are utilizing technology to help the public increase their capability in handling any risks. Improving the support and security of a community need people to become confident and have greater determination, and one factor that could affect this is having a life-support during any emergency situation wherein they can use technology as a tool to cope and to move on with any danger.

To be able to achieve efficient and faster transmission, Metropolitan Wireless International, being ingenious as ever, developed a Unified Message Switch (UMS) that allows users to send messages in different social media formats in one unified infrastructure. 

The system could be of great help to disaster management and other rapid-response situations since it provides crucial communication links. It also allows greater advantage and flexibility to particular messaging requirements in areas such as construction, medical service, police work, and transportation.

MWI holds to the famous saying, "prevention is better than cure" because they believe that with it, people could manage or minimize the damages caused by natural or human-induced disasters. Ensuring public safety entail communication as its vital part to make sure risks are managed with the least amount of time, cost and damage.

MWI's goal is to improve public safety through their creations, and the company has been providing advanced solutions for many years already. They have a firm experience that clients could depend on. Their history in developing solutions for the benefit of the public has been known with successful releases and is highly reliable. Each of their staff members is always dedicated to providing each customer the best service based on their shared values and trust.



Some say that location is the most important thing whenlooking for the perfect property for your business. But Bacall Development claims thatthere are other essential things to consider that are just or even moreimportant as location. Looking for the perfect property for your business canbe arduous, so the Bacall team suggests the following to help you find theright commercial property.


Reviews show that location holds great importance to somebusiness, but not to every business out there because it depends on the kind ofbusiness you have. For instance, location can set a great difference and cangreatly contribute to the success or failure of your business in case youdepend on customer contact in a retail setting. You must be in a place that isaccessible and easy to find.

You may choose a serene location if you don't see clientsoften at your site to offer a peaceful environment to your staff. With this,they can be more focused to finish their jobs. Bacall Development recommends ahome office if you don't have any employees on site and don't expect visitsfrom customers. This way, you can save on operating costs and provide potentialtax savings.


Make sure that the property fits your business well and works for the kind of business you have. Size is an important factor whether you're just starting out or moving your business. If the site can accommodate your business then it can be an excellent choice for you. In order to avoid any added expense because of retrofitting,see to it that the place has been outfitted with wiring to meet your electrical and communication needs. Knowing the zoning ordinances of the area is also considered necessary.


Does the location of the property has a good neighborhood? Bacall Development needs you to prioritize the growth of your business, so even though the rent is high but the location is accessible and suits your needs, it is worth your money. Placing your business near similar businesses can do you good if you have a retail business. Consider a place that is convenient for your customers and offers the chance to combine trips and errands. Parking, safety, and traffic also have great influence to potential customers, so put them into mind. Comfort and safety are crucial for your customers and employees, so see to it that you will choose a property that offers both.


Is the property affordable to you? Begin looking at a commercial property for your business after having a particular budget in mind. Bacall associates rental suggests that you consider different alternatives such as renting an existing space, buying a lot and have control over the construction and design,and leasing a build-to-suit. You can buy an affordable piece of property for your business by stopping at the courthouse to get a list of business closings or property foreclosures.


Check if the property is really out there. You can schedule a consultation with a real estate broker to help you lessen your options in case you're not certain how to find a commercial property. Going in person is also advisable if you're going to visit some locations that caught your interest. This can help you do some evaluation on some issues that may affect your business such as competition, traffic, and overall convenience.Bacall Development recommends the use of online searching at real estate websites if you want to see what is available on the market without exerting too much effort.

Keep in mind that a good commercial property does notstay available for long, so be prepared to act quickly if you find one thatreally matches your business needs.